The first half of this week’s team update is a guest post by Dr. Dave Smith, one of our Circuit Riders in the Crossroads District. You will also find a number of upcoming events following Dr. Smith's report.
CIRCUIT RIDER REPORT
In the past several years, my ladder has been moving. It used to lean, with immense personal joy, against the Ivory Tower of Indiana Wesleyan. But progressively and intentionally, it has now come to rest leaning upon the local Church steeples of the Crossroads District. It is my delight to serve alongside Dr. Jim Lo and Rev. Mark Atkinson as Circuit Riders. Our DS, Dr. Mark Gorveatte has given us a wonderfully generic job description which we can tweak based upon our individual giftings. Simply, we come alongside pastors and churches in the Crossroads district, providing encouragement, wisdom, and “close any gap” that might be felt between the church and the district. Our overarching purpose is to serve the local church. My first “Church visit” was with Dr. Mark Rennaker at Southdowns Church (Kokomo; June 2021) and this last Sunday, Angie and I visited with Zack and Carla Working at Huntington Hope^Rising. Between those two visits, I have been blessed to be in 20+ local congregations with amazing men and women who love the Lord and His Church!
Every visit is different. It begins with an initial contact from the District Office (usually the multi-talented Carla Working). Next, several weeks before I come to visit, I’ll connect with the Pastor making sure that we are both on the same page about the Sunday visit. I LOVE TO PREACH. So, if you would like that to happen, I’m all in. “Sundays off” are often few and far between for pastors. If I can serve you in that way, let’s plan for it.
Following the service, I enjoy a quick stand-up meeting with the LBA. Five to seven minutes is all it will be. But I sincerely want to connect names and faces with local churches. Plus, for folks who have been long-term members of the church, it provides me with a snapshot of the church’s history in the community. This is a gift beyond measure.
Then, one of the “perks” of the job is that the Crossroads District covers the cost of me taking the pastor’s family to dinner. Jesus’ most profound teaching of grace was often spoken across the table during a meal. I love to replicate His habit of spiritual hospitality.
Finally, this meeting often establishes new or deeper relationships which may then manifest themselves in future phone calls or visits to discuss ministry or personal matters. In a nutshell, we as modern Circuit Riders do not ride-in-and-ride-out on a Sunday. We ride in (a car) and stay connected in a way that assists pastors and churches to flourish as best we can. Pastors and lay leaders, if you will let us serve you, Rev. Atkinson, Dr. Lo and myself will count it a huge privilege.
One closing thought. Each of your three Circuit Riders have a unique calling and gifting to help the local church in additional ways.
In Jesus’ joy,
Dr. Dave Smith
Fall Retired Minister's Gathering
Calling all retired ministers and spouses! Make plans now to join us for the Fall Retired Minister's Gathering being held on Thursday, November 17, 2022 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at College Wesleyan Church (200 E 38th St, Marion, IN 46953). Please RSVP by emailing email@example.com or calling 765-674-8593.
2022 Crossroads Christmas Gatherings
It's the most wonderful time of the year! All lead and assistant pastors (and their spouses) are invited to attend a Crossroads District Christmas gathering. There are 6 locations and dates from which to choose, and all gatherings will begin at 6:30pm. Please pick the one location that is most convenient for you. Dr. Mark Gorveatte and the district team are looking forward to this time of fellowship and celebration as we prepare to lead others through the Advent season. Dinner is provided. Please RSVP by November 12, 2022:
Upcoming Luncheon on October 27 with Rev. Zach Szmara
Pastors and Ministry Leaders, please make plans to join us on October 27th and enjoy a free lunch while discussing with other faith leaders and pastors ways you can serve and bless those who are marginalized in the Heartland and in America, including low-income families, workers and immigrants. Discover helpful resources and tools, and celebrate transforming presence stories shared by Pastor Zach Szmara, Immigrant Connection executive director and Suzy Roth, Hands of Hope executive director, as well as policy updates and action steps provided by Steven Eng, National Association of Evangelicals advocacy director. The event will be held at United Wesleyan Church, 2233 S. Central Way, Anderson, IN, and includes time for networking, table conversations, questions, and prayer. The event runs from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. with doors opening at 11:00 a.m. Reservations, appreciated by October 21, can be submitted at: www.icwelcome.org/lunch
GrowLeader Regional Conference 2023
We are pleased to announce that we have a limited number of tickets available for lead and solo pastors to attend the upcoming GrowLeader Regional Conference presented by Church of the Highlands in Indianapolis on March 7th, 2023. Any lead or solo pastor who registers one or more lay leaders for the conference will receive a free registration to attend as well.
Due to the limited supply, only one free ticket will be provided for each lead or solo pastor, regardless of the number of tickets purchased for lay leaders. You may register your lay leaders at www.growleader.com/regionals, and then submit the following form to claim your free ticket: https://crossroadsdistrict.churchcenter.com/people/forms/455626
Funeral Arrangements for Nancy A. Wilson
Our prayers and sympathies are extended to the family and friends of Mrs. Nancy Ann Wilson who went to be with the Lord on Thursday, October 13, 2022. Her husband, Rev. Dr. Norman G. Wilson, is a retired minister in the Crossroads District. Nancy taught for over 20 years, notably at Lakeview Christian School in Marion, Indiana, and Heritage Christian School in Indianapolis. Visitation will be Thursday, October 20, 2022 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Needham-Storey-Wampner Funeral Service, Storey Chapel, 400 E. Main St., Gas City, IN. The funeral service will follow at 2:00 pm with Rev. Dr. Coleen Derr officiating. Burial will take place at Grant Memorial Park in Marion. Please remember Dr. Wilson and the family in your prayers.